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Van der pol riding in electric car on campus

Campus Group Being Developed

What Can the Campus Do to Increase Sustainability Efforts

January 7, 2008

For years, Cal State Fullerton has recycled waste, increased the efficiency of its energy and water use, and begun using ‘green’ products that are better for the environment.

What the university is doing is not enough for Willem van der Pol (shown above), director of physical plant.

Van der pol is in the midst of developing a Sustainability Initiative Study Group to research projects, programs and other options that the campus can undertake in an effort to create a more sustainable environment. The effort is underwritten by a Mission and Goals Initiative.

“Universities are in a unique position to provide leadership, not only from the perspective of developing science projects and educational programs, but also by being a role model through the implementation of sustainable processes and developing partnerships with a variety of community-based entities,” van der Pol noted.

The study group will have representation from all campus areas, as sustainability issues affect the entire campus, said van der Pol.

The group is charged with developing a mission and goals statement, as well as investigating and presenting recommendations regarding the development of a sustainable campus. The group will review what other university campuses are doing and whether Cal State Fullerton could integrate similar programs and procedures.

“We’re a leader as a whole when it comes to energy conservation and we hold our own in recycling of waste products,” said van der Pol. “But there is more that can be done.

 “There needs to be a campuswide focus and we have to look at everything we do — what we purchase, how we sell items on campus, how we landscape, build, light, heat, clean. Sustainability is an issue that we will all be dealing with in all aspects of our lives.”

By the end of the current academic year, the committee will put forward recommendations. “We want to get sustainability on the front burner of the university’s priorities.

“This issue is very big and we need to give it a shape so that we can be effective and move forward,” van der Pol added. “There needs to be organizational clarity about our roles and responsibilities and the direction we’re heading.”

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